Quotable

Watching the video of last week’s lovefest at the IMF, I experienced frequent hallucinations of Lagarde and Yellen as two monetary hippies promoting free money, which may be just as unsafe as free love.

- Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research, on a conversation between International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde and Fed chair Janet Yellen about the extent to which central banks should attempt to promote financial stability, during the “Inaugural Michel Camdessus Central Banking Lecture with Janet Yellen.” July 7, 2014

Bears make headlines. Bulls make money.

- Old adage resurfacing as the market continues to hit new highs and sentiment remains elevated, a condition which can make the market more vulnerable to pullbacks. July 3, 2014

CEO’s who own few shares of their companies have no more feeling for the shareholders than they do for baboons in Africa. – T Boone Pickens, July 2, 2014

In case the stock market rally is making you a little too complacent…

Financial markets are euphoric, but progress in strengthening banks’ balance sheets has been uneven and private debt keeps growing. Macroeconomic policy has little room for maneuver to deal with any untoward surprises that might be sprung, including a normal recession.

- Bank for International Settlements annual report, which to can see here. July 1, 2014

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Interest rates are hovering at very low levels now. Does everybody know that eventually they are going to mean revert to a higher level? That interest rates are not going to stay just above zero once consensus reaches a conclusion that the economy is growing and demand for money increases? Nevertheless, will people suffer big losses and be shocked when interest rates go up? Yes.

- Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein on PBS’ Charlie Rose show, June 9, 2014.

Will it soon be time to buy on the cannons, sell on the trumpets?

The Middle East could see the collapse of state stability in a cross-sectarian, multi-ethnic country of 35 million people that borders many of the region’s most important states and is the world’s fastest-growing oil exporter…(T)here is an increasingly strong case that Iraq needs new and boosted security assistance, including air strikes and a massively boosted security cooperation initiative to rebuild the shattered army and mentor it in combat.

- Michael Knights, “Iraq War III Has Now Begun,” Foreign Policy. June 12, 2014

A risk to your stock portfolio that you might not be sufficiently concerned about, given that Iraq is the ninth largest oil producer and has the fourth largest reserves, and energy price spikes can end market rallies because of the perceived impact on economic growth?

U.S. counterterrorism officials said the attacks show the degree to which Islamist militants have established a revolving door between Iraq and Syria, with fighters flowing easily between the two countries and fueling conflict in both…The fighters seized control of the provincial government headquarters, important oil installations…and military installations where U.S.-supplied fighter planes, helicopters and other heavy weaponry are based.

- Comments in Wall Street Journal after an al Qaeda affiliate took over the second largest city in Iraq, Mosul. June 11, 2014

Remember the summer of 2011?

The issue is the Republican Party has been paying way too much attention to Wall Street and not enough attention to Main Street.

- Victorious Tea Party candidate David Brat, after he defeated second-ranking House Republican Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia in a primary election. (Wall Street Journal) June 11, 2014

Something to consider during the summer grill season?

Johns Hopkins oncologist and director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, William Nelson, found it’s possible to induce prostate cancer in laboratory animals with compounds produced when meat is grilled or charbroiled. Nelson believes this could help explain why living in Asia, where eating charred meat is rare, seems to have a protective effect.

- Johns Hopkins Magazine, summer 2014.

China is embroiled in business espionage allegations but did it take the playbook, too?

The United States emerged as the world’s industrial leader by illicitly appropriating mechanical and scientific innovations from Europe.

- Historian Doron Ben-Atar in “Trade Secrets.” The New Yorker. June 4, 2014

Nobody was in charge, so everyone was in charge.

- Insider on the state of affairs when CEO Joe Ripp took over last September at Time Inc., scheduled to go public June 6, burdened by sales and earnings which fell 8.8% and 41% over the past three years, and $1.3 billion in net debt which may not help shareholders much since a large portion of that debt was taken to fund a special dividend to parent Time Warner. June 3, 2014

Is Google planning to get to know you a little better?

He thinks that nanobots will one day travel to our brains through our capillaries and that blood-cell-sized computers will connect to the cloud the way our iPhones do now.

- Prediction by futurist Ray Kurzweil, a director of engineering at Google (Wall Street Journal) May 31, 2014

Are you still scared to buy stocks?

This bull market has years ahead of it, despite some significant corrections and panics along the way. In a best-case scenario we might see the major averages double over the next six or seven years.

- Value investing icon and contrarian David Dreman (Forbes) May 30, 2014

Does student loan debt count?

Economic disasters are almost always preceded by a large increase in household debt.

- Atif Mian and Amir Sufi, House of Debt: How They (and You) Caused the Great Recession, and How We Can Prevent It From Happening Again May 29, 2014

Interesting perspective for investors, in the age of micro-blast online content?

Ain’t it strange the way we’re ignorant
How we seek out bad advice
How we jigger it and figure it
Mistaking value for the price

- Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What